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My Trip to Spaceship XM…Part 1

Filed under: Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 2:20 pm

Talk about the show on

Some weeks ago, I received a letter from Andy Danyo, one of the folks on the production staff of The Bob Edwards Show, inviting my wife and me to the first anniversary party for the show. Honored? Yes. Excited? Yes.

Miss it? No bloody way.

Russ Gifford, Reporting from Berlin…er…the hotel.

We drove down to the Baltimore-Washington airport to pick up Russ Gifford, a site admin for who flew in from the midwest for the party, made a quick stop to check-in at a small hotel about a half-mile from the XM studios, and headed to the party. A parking space was reserved for us in the XM parking lot (you’ll find a theme here of the three of us being treated royally the entire evening), and we walked down to the main entrance.

The studio building itself is an old brick factory, with only modern windows and a large XM sign to distinguish it from its original purpose. The main entrance is rather indistinguished, with a small security station and a model of Rock/Roll (the satellites that bring XM to your radio) hanging from the high ceiling.

As we approached the guard station, I noticed Ed McNulty talking to the guards. We gave our names, were given our VIP passes (photo above), and Ed directed us to the elevators, telling us to get off at the second floor.

The Control Center.

That’s when we dropped down the rabbit hole.

The Captain’s Chair

When the elevators opened, we were face-to-face with the central control station, an Enterprise-like room with a visual moving-slider representation of every XM channel being broadcast…and a central station, where someone sitting in what can only be described as “Captain Kirk’s chair done right” oversaw the entire operation.

The party, facing the Control Center (top-right)

We were frankly so stunned by the sight that it took us a few moments to realize that in the wide, high corridor there were hundreds of people laughing, chatting, and mingling. Clearly, this was the party we drove down to attend.

It was amazing; a huge bar, serving nothing but Jim Beam Kentucky Bourbon (and sodas for the weak)…a feast fit for a Kentucky king, with everything from fried chicken to corn bread, and of course the show’s birthday cake. For the record, unlike my compatriots, I had my bourbon Bob’s way…adultrated only with ice.

The Cake

I mean this…you cannot possibly imagine the energy in that corridor; the people there were, except for the few of us wearing the guest badges, employees of XM…all young, energetic people who are using their youth to change the face of radio, if not the world. The feeling of excitement was literally palpable…and this party was designed to thank all of XM for their support of The Bob Edwards Show. I’ve been to a bunch of cocktail parties, office parties, and even some radio station parties, and I have never seen the likes of this, and probably never will again.

More photos, including pics of The Bob Edwards Show studio, coming up next post.

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One Response to “My Trip to Spaceship XM…Part 1” »


  1. Tim Stockman Says:

    Here are some pictures from my trip to the Bob Edwards party.

    I’ll definitely affirm that, as fantastic as all the technical stuff at XM’s studios is, it pales in comparison to the enthusiasm of the people that work there, which includes everyone from the top right down to the janitors. A wonderful and very classy party to match a great show!

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